cover of book


Available as an ebook at:
Barnes & Noble Nook

A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It
by Paul C. Light
foreword by Paul A. Volcker
Harvard University Press, 2008
Paper: 978-0-674-03478-5 | Cloth: 978-0-674-02808-1 | eISBN: 978-0-674-25536-4
Library of Congress Classification JK692.L534 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 351.73


Hear commentary by Paul Light on why young, talented workers are steering clear of jobs in the federal government (from National Public Radio).

The federal government is having increasing difficulty faithfully executing the laws, which is what Alexander Hamilton called “the true test” of a good government. This book diagnoses the symptoms, explains their general causes, and proposes ways to improve the effectiveness of the federal government. Employing Hamilton’s seven measures of an energetic federal service, Paul Light shows how the government is wanting in each measure.

After assessing the federal report card, Light offers a comprehensive agenda for reform, including new laws limiting the number of political appointees, reducing the layers of government management, reducing the size of government as its baby-boom employees retire, revitalizing the federal career, and reducing the heavy outsourcing of federal work. Although there are many ways to fix each of the seven problems with government, only a comprehensive agenda will bring the kind of reform needed to reverse the overall erosion of the capacity to faithfully execute all the laws.

Nearby on shelf for Political institutions and public administration (United States) / United States / Government. Public administration: